Saturday, 16 March 2013

You know those people on reality TV shows

The ones where you wonder why nobody (especially their families) have ever told them that they can't sing? I've seen them and wondered whether its best to smash your children's hopes and dreams quickly or to let them believe that they have ability and talent where there is none. This week I had to make that choice.

Girl Child is not a natural athlete. She has two strikes against her, low muscle tone and then she takes after me in the coordination stakes - she has very little.

So when she told me that she had nominated herself to try out for the area school's representative basketball team, I was a little worried. Not only has she never played competitive basketball (I'm not sure she has played much more than just shooting baskets in the backyard) she also had her heart set on being selected.

We had a few chats with her explaining that many of the children who would be at the tryouts would already play basketball competitively and that her skill level would be unlikely to match theirs. She still wanted to try out. The sports coordinator at her school had also said that she would have fun at the tryouts so off we went.

She happily lined up with all the other girls to do basic ball skill drills. There was dribbling the ball across the court and back, passing the ball under your legs while crossing the court and some basic passing and catching. Girl Chid's lack of skill starting showing in the first activity but she continued despite not being as fast or as accurate as the others. By this time my heart had broken a little seeing how uncoordinated she appeared compared to the others.

Then they were doing drills with 3 girls in each line running around each other and passing balls at the same time. It was at this point that Girl Child came over to me and asked to go home. Her reason? She wasn't having fun. She didn't care that she lagged behind the other girls or that her skill level was obviously so much lower. I told the organisers that she wanted to go home and we left. She was in tears before we had left the building. As was I. Yes, I'm one of those over sensitive mothers.

The question we have always asked our children 'Did you try your best?' Girl Child tried her best and wanted out not because her best was different to the others, but because it wasn't fun like shooting hoops at home is.

Now I'm wondering if we should break it to her that her planned singing career may not be feasible. Thankfully, I think we have a few years before we need to do that. I'm hoping the reality shows like Idol will be over before then.


PinkPatentMaryJanes said...

I watch these shows and think to myself "Someone really needs to tell these people they are NOT the best singer in the world" because really, there are few.

I think it's important to praise our children, but realistically. It's best for us to do it gently, than for someone to shoot them down in flames when they're an adult.

Sounds like you handled this perfectly x

MultipleMum said...

What a great outcome. We have similarly skilled athletes in our family. Luckily they haven't aspired for representative teams. In fact, they self cull in most sporting arenas. I will remember this post for later use. X


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